Sikhs Celebrate New Gurdwara In Westborough

by John Swinconeck

Member (131K)WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Music, prayer, chanting and lots of vegetarian Indian food marked a special occasion for members of the Sikh community. The New England Sikh Study Circle celebrated on the site of its new Gurdwara on Flanders Road in Westborough Sunday with a tent service followed by a communal meal.

Visit The Westborough Daily Voice gallery for photos of Sunday's event.

Westborough Selectmen approved a site plan for the temple that will hold 400 and parking for 140 cars in September 2011.

According to its website, the circle was established in 1968 to serve as a Sikh center in Milford. Services there are held Friday evenings and Sunday mornings, and about 60-70 children attend a Sunday school.

"As our community has grown we've begun to grow out of space," said member Sarbdreet Singh after Sunday's ceremony. "We absolutely love the location and the community has been extremely welcoming."

Singh said the Gurdwara will serve his community's needs for several decades, once it is completed. He said he was looking forward to working with other churches and temples in the Westborough area in serving the community.

"We do a lot of interfaith things," he said. "We want to work closely with other houses of worship. We have a huge tradition of service in our faith."

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion more than 500 years old. There are 20 million Sikhs in the world, most of whom live in the Punjab province in India.

"Sikhs are a peace-loving people," said Parmender S. Bagga, circle member and a doctor at UMass Memorial. "We may look different, but we welcome everyone."

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